Saturday, May 30, 2020

To be refined

My word for the year is “refine.” So, for the entire year I’ll research this word and learn from it.  Just for my own knowledge I’ve interviewed a doctor, a judge, a lawyer, a philosophical author, a religious expert and people who work at refineries.

“Why are you asking me about refinement?” a refinery manager asked me.

“Well, I just want to know what you think of the word. It’s my word to live by for 2020. I’m just trying to learn more about it.”

He thought for a minute and then said something so throughout-provoking. “It’s a good word to live by because you can only see the true value of something once it’s refined.  It’s hard to assess something until a product has gone through the entire process.  But the process involves so much more than people realize. It’s not just tough on the product, it’s tough on the machines and the people working here too.  It’s painful, but the final result–if the product makes it there–is worth the effort.”

There are different types of refinement; some processes can actually change a molecular structure to transform it into something useable as the by-products are analyzed as well and either found valuable or just discarded.  But changing a structure, that isn’t as simple as discarding something…no, that’s physical separating it.  To be refined is painful.

After that, I spoke with a philosophical author.  She’s researched the word “refinement” and said what interested her is the actual act and that depending on the level of refinement, you can get different products that are worth more. “But the different processes something undergoes, changes the level value.  It’s not to say the other products aren’t valuable in their own ways, but further refinement is worth the pain, especially in regard to oil.”
The religious expert reminded me that refinement isn’t just discarding things…it’s closer to what this woman spoke of as sanctification.  We also talked about the Refiner’s fire from the Bible, which actually burns away anything to leave items purified.

The judge talked about the reformation process that some convicts go through and how this–in a sense–is a type of refinement.

The doctor talked about his interest in refinement because this denotes that the original product was flawed and that it can become better. He said the foods that we put into our bodies can preserve our health and increase our outcomes if we are disciplined enough to accept change.  “Discipline can be a type of refinement.”

The lawyer, well he said true refinement isn’t possible in people and that he believes they’ll revert back.

My chosen words for previous years have taught me so much. Some of them have been: enjoy, trust, wonder, focus, persevere, sincere….  I’ve learned something from each as if the word comes to life and I discover its depths as I would a close friend.  But this year has been strange for everyone and my own circumstances have caused refinement. Losing my job was huge.... I’ve lost other things as well, and it’s very hard, but I can feel the refinement process as I learn more about the core of who I am.

What are your thoughts on refinement? What does that word mean to you?  What do you think we can all learn from the word?

Like a door that we might not be ready for, we must keep in going—and walk through.

1 comment:

  1. Refinement?????
    I have given this some thought and I have no idea, what I think or feel about it